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Water saving bathroom products see sales levels rise by 25%
A 2016 report by MTW Research indicates that sales of water saving bathroom products have risen by 25%, boosted by housebuilding, domestic refurbishment and a continued emphasis by manufacturers on water efficiency.
Based on data from 130 manufacturers and retailers, MTW found that water saving products account for around 30% of the UK bathroom market in 2016, with the 50+ age group, DIoT (Domestic Internet of Things), product labelling and changing consumer habits providing a much needed sales boost in 2016.
The 250-page report highlights how consumers are spending more time in the bathroom for relaxation and re-invigoration and this is continuing to support growth in the higher value bathroom products market. Water saving features are increasingly being used by manufacturers to add value and with over half the average water bill attributed to bathroom use, consumers are seeking ways to reduce their bills as household metering increases.
According to MTW, new technologies are set to provide an extra boost for the bathroom market, rising by £40 million in the next four years. One example is a shower that uses a closed loop of water with filters to dramatically reduce water usage.
Although these products are in their infancy, such technology could offer considerable growth opportunities to the market in the longer term.
"New, innovative water recycling products that reduce water consumption without a high initial outlay will boost bathroom product sales in the longer term, enabling manufacturers to add new features to their products and enhance perceived value," notes MTW's industry analyst James Taylor.
However, the current trend for 'luxury' in the bathroom, which continues to stimulate growth in the bathroom market, does present some challenges for the water saving market, the report says. With consumers seeking to replicate the 'luxury hotel spa' experience in their bathrooms, there remains a preference for large baths and shower mixers with high flow rates. This presents a hurdle for bathroom manufacturers to develop bathroom products that reduce water usage whilst not compromising on offering a premium relaxation experience.
MTW also found that despite sustained efforts by UK manufacturers, there remains a lack of water usage labelling and advertising throughout many distribution channels, including some bathroom retailers. The report indicates that independent retailers are a key channel to communicate water saving benefits to the consumer, with this an area that requires further development. However, the report indicates that market conditions are positive, with 74% of water saving product manufacturers experiencing sales growth last year and almost 90% having a 'good' or 'excellent' rating.
The report identifies several products which are outperforming the bathroom products market in 2016, and highlights key target markets where growth opportunities are present. One example given is water saving taps which are growing share rapidly in 2016.
Whilst water saving may not be top of consumers' lists during specification, there are clearly signs that it represents a key driver for growth and is set to become increasingly important for the UK bathroom market.
Image: Air-based operation means Propelair's toilet uses just 1.5 litres of water per flush compared to the UK average of nine litres
The full report is available now via:
25th February 2016